Instaread Summary of All the Single Ladies Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister
Four out of five stars
Given the often heard phrase “traditional marriage” in the modern political theater, all people in possession of some knowledge of history understand what it means. For centuries, women had few career paths, so for many their only hope for a decent life was to enter into a marriage. Until recently, the laws were quite clear, any property she had was immediately forfeited to her husband’s control and as a married woman she could do little without her husband’s permission. When a conservative utters the phrase “traditional marriage,” they are describing a (thankfully lost) world where married women had few rights. However, in much of the world, women are still bound into what is culturally still a traditional marriage that has aspects of slavery.
Fortunately, in the western world that has changed, yet it is always a good idea to be reminded of the way things used to be and in some places still are. This summary describes a book that does that. It is a combination of history and sociology and the discussion is restricted to the current situation in the United States.
Poverty issues are raised in the book as well, there are some that think the solution to single women living in poverty is for them to get married. While this will work for some, such a “solution” is a simplistic statement that does not take into account facts such as low wages, lack of suitable partners and the fact that for some, getting married will put them further into poverty. Two unemployed or underemployed people can fall faster into debt than a single person in similar circumstances.
This summary raises many issues regarding the most complex relationship that humans can engage in short of that of a parent and child. While there are direct hints of a personal agenda on the part of the author, most of the summary avoids falling into that potential void. In reading this summary, I was convinced that it is worth reading, as it delves deep into the changes taking place in the role and purpose of marriage in the modern United States.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.